Radio Silence? Here’s Why You Aren’t Hearing Back After Submitting an Application

Job Interview Follow-up


You just hit the Submit button on that job application…and now the waiting begins.

For many job seekers, waiting to hear back after submitting an application is the most frustrating, nerve-wracking part of the job hunt. And when your hard work is met with nothing more than weeks of radio silence, it’s enough to discourage the most stalwart job seeker.

Are you qualified enough? Did you do enough to impress the recruiter? Did the company fill the role internally, or decide not to hire anyone? Actually, there are lots of potential reasons for the communication void. Today, we’re sharing some straight talk about the most likely reasons you didn’t hear back from a potential employer:

You didn’t do your homework – or customize your resume.

The more closely your qualifications match the job’s requirements, the more likely a recruiter is to give you a call. Makes sense, right? A “spray and pray” approach may be easy, but it’s not likely to be effective. So do your homework:

  • Research the employer and the position you want.
  • Review the company’s website and social media accounts.
  • Conduct a thorough online search, using the News tab.
  • Learn the company’s mission/vision, industries served, customers, competitors and recent accolades, and find out everything you can about the job.

Then, put that intelligence to work for you! Grab the recruiter’s attention and show them what’s in it for them by:

  • tailoring your “career objective” statement;
  • highlighting your transferable skills;
  • including relevant keywords;
  • aligning your skills and experience with those of the available position;
  • explaining how your value translates into the job’s specific requirements.

Your resume was rejected by an ATS. 

An applicant tracking system (ATS) is recruiting software employers use to streamline the hiring process. If your resume is formatted in a way that the ATS can’t understand, it won’t be able to “read” it properly – and may instantly knock you out of consideration, even if you’re highly qualified.

When you’re applying to jobs online, keep formatting simple. Choose a widely accepted file format (.docx and .txt are safe bets), but always comply with the requirements provided.

The process is taking longer than expected.

If you apply for a job weeks after it’s been posted, the sheer volume of responses may bog the employer’s process down. Your application processing may merely be delayed.

You simply aren’t qualified for the job.

In some cases, applying to a job for which you’re underqualified makes sense. However, if a posting lists 5+ years of experience as a requirement and you’re a recent graduate, it’s unlikely you’ll be called in for an interview.  Most job descriptions are written with very specific requirements for good reason. It’s not personal; it’s business.

Conditions changed within the hiring company.

  • A key decision-maker went MIA. Recruiting and hiring typically involve several people within an organization. If someone is out of the office for an extended period, gets fired or quits, it can stall the process.
  • Things changed internally. In business (especially in our current economy), things can change in an instant. Budgets get cut. Hiring freezes are instituted. Internal positions are reorganized. Major clients are lost.  Factors like these can suddenly derail a company’s hiring process – and leave you hanging.

Should you break the silence?

If you receive no acknowledgment or rejection after a week or two, it’s acceptable to make a single, polite inquiry. Place a brief phone call or send a quick, professional email asking about the status of your application.

Don’t draw attention to the fact that the potential employer has failed to follow-up with you. Instead, keep the communication positive and simply ask if your application was received and if you are still being considered for employment.

Too much radio silence in your job search?

Apply with PrideStaff. We work hard to keep you informed, engaged and happy at every step of the job search process:

  • Real-time access to recruiters via text or email allows you to have meaningful conversations and get the feedback you need.
  • Custom, automated job alerts deliver hot jobs to your inbox, so you’re the first to know about new opportunities.
  • Our social communities on Facebook and Instagram help you stay connected to your local PrideStaff office and other Associates.
  • We seek your input through satisfaction surveys to make working with us even more rewarding.


Ready to re-energize your job search? Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities.